International guest speaker, Professor Patrick Hudson from the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, delivered a keynote presentation at the OHS Leaders Summit Australia on ‘Living the Dream: What does it really take to get to zero?’ Professor Patrick’s presentation focused on having zero accidents is a dream rather than a reality for most organisations. Achieving stellar safety performance takes more than just concentrating on what goes wrong, but also requires more than an aspirational mindset about primarily concentrating on what we can do well. Reality requires that we do both; we choose what we concentrate on dependent on where we are at present and where, in terms of performance, we want to get to. This means that as we approach our goal, what we do to achieve ever improving safety performance has to change. Trying harder only gets us so far and often what got us there won’t get us any further. This means we have to become context sensitive – not only to our current culture of safety, but also realise that different types of hazardous activity may require increasingly different approaches.
Patrick is a psychologist with wide experience of safety and management in a variety of high-hazard industries. Patrick has worked with the Oil and Gas sector, both upstream and downstream, commercial and military aviation, shipping, mining and hospital medicine. Patrick was one of the developers of the Tripod model for Shell, together with Jim Reason and Willem Wagenaar, better known as the Swiss Cheese model. Patrick was part of Shell’s team developing the theory of SMS in response to Piper Alpha and am now involved in teaching and developing SMS concepts in Civil Aviation, primarily in Asia and Australasia. Patrick developed the HSE Culture ladder, together with Dianne Parker and is now working on improving concepts of risk analysis in hospital medicine, transferring knowledge and experience between industries. Patrick is an Emeritus Professor at Delft University of Technology in The Human Factor in Safety at the Department of Safety Science. His specialties include: Psychology, aviation safety, Oil and Gas HSE, patient safety, Nuclear engineering, computer science, artificial intelligence, design.